Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Public Service Announcement


I am here today to offer constructive criticism on your choice as consumers.

You may recognize the product featured in this photo. If you have ever consumed this product (and obviously you have otherwise our relationship is quickly spiraling downwards) your brain should have instantly flooded with memories of a delicious, tender chocolate ball sitting on your tongue, the chocolate slowly sweating onto your taste buds with "So Happy Together" playing in the background. The interior holds a careful secret: love. The inside of these chocolate balls were invented when God, Buddha, Allah, and Zeus were having a tea party.

Although my relationship with the Lindt brand has generally always been strong and solid, it did waver when I descending the train in Zurich, Switzerland. I was full of optimism; an innocent lassie with a hop in her step. As much as one can hop when weighed down with a 30-lb backpack... so, heavily stepped, really. Into the train station's visitor centre I go. In my best German I say, "I vould like a map, please," borrowing a friend's method of quickly becoming a linguistic master of any language (say the words in English, but with a stereotyped accent of the local language). I am provided with a map, and an awkward smile. I inquired about the location of the Lindt chocolate factory that had me drooling in my Rough Guide. The kind Svisse-Germhan informed me that the factory and its tours were temporarily closed for renovation, refurb, donkey control, something. I felt overwhelmed with grief; the same grief one feels when she thinks she has one cookie left, but actually has none.

Instead, I had to settle for a large advertisement of Lindt chocolate.

Needless to say, the sign didn't compare to the goodness I expected to come from the actual tour/unlimited tasting session (belly ache factory?), but instead I drank beer with hostel people, explored, enjoyed the sun, and, surprise, went on a long bike ride.

So, based on these preceding ramblings, you should derived that I take my Lindt chocolate quite seriously. Thus, when I came across a knock-off version of Lindt Lindor chocolate balls I as a bit skeptical, almost nervous. Usually I would just snark and buy the brandless substitute... But this is clearly different. The package stated the product was made in Switzerland (+1 point), but the truffles (so said the packaging) were wrapped in blue wrapper instead of red. Not being a fan of blue, particularly light blue, I felt a twitch in my shoulder. A panicked discussion with my co-shopper wasn't comforting. We both felt concern with faulty fakes. Eventually, I decided to take a risk. I bought the fakes, in the name of science, of course. The "buying slightly overpriced but oh-so delicious chocolate with groceries" habit is/was supposed to disappear after leaving France. Success = questionable.

Fake truffles in light blue wrappers were placed in basket, taken to the register, paid for, and ripped open about 100 paces out of the grocery store. Co-muncher had the first truffle. Verdict that we shared: not the same, not bad, an okay substitute in the event you are lacking the extra $.70 for the true taste bud delights.

Lindt Lindor Truffles: +9,000
President's Choice Milk Chocolate Truffles: +2 (photo to perhaps be added later)

This has been a public service announcement in the stylings of Maki.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Damn you, now I want Lindt chocolates. And, I am pretty sure I won't be able to source them in the DG. I guess that's two things to stay on my list of brand only food items: Heinz ketchup and now Lindt chocolates.

PS my word verification is "bollychr" which reminds me of a belly that sounds angry . . . kind of like yours would have been if you'd been able to visit heaven (I mean the factory!)